Posts Tagged ‘The Farm at San Benito’

Improve your skin’s appearance with these organic body products

In Philippine Star Column on August 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

Got body issues? Who doesn’t? A majority of my friends, of various ages, sizes and nationalities, always have something about their body that doesn’t fit with the ideal they carry around in their head. So, we head to the gym, the ashram, or one of the latest aesthetic centers that has the newest so-and-so machine that promises to zap all the Cheetos you noshed on over the weekend (right). As we all sign up for the battle against the bulge, we often overlook the most important component of our corporeal vessel: the skin that keeps it all in. I’ve seen many a perfect silhouette ruined by flakey “bits” (i.e., dark and dry elbows and knees, or scale-y like heels and palms). Having just come from a trip that made me go through an onslaught of temperatures left me with a lot of sloughing off to do. My skin, although normally on the oily side, doesn’t react well to the dry air blown by air conditioners, and even a plane ride can make my skin shed so I always stash a hand moisturizer that doubles as a foot moisturizer in my hand-carry. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also noticed that my skin doesn’t retain moisture like it used to, in spite of the humidity, so I’ve had to resort to a few extra “steps” during and post-bath.

Scrub on scrub off: The Farm at San Benito’s Body Polish is best for high-skin shine!

One important step is to exfoliate. I am quite active and my bathroom rituals are always done in a semi-rush so I do indulge myself in a once a week total scrub. If it’s been a particularly harrowing workweek, then I do it twice. This is probably more psychological on my part, feeling that I’m literally “scrubbing” off all the dramas from the day. Exfoliation, I’ve learned, is not only integral to having smoother and more radiant skin, but the action itself can improve blood circulation throughout your body. This ritual has led me to try several body scrubs on the market, but it wasn’t until I spent a couple of days at The Farm at San Benito that I fell in love with their Salus Per Aquam body polish. There are two variants — The Purifying Body Polish-Yin Yang Lemongrass and the Stimulating Body Polish Barako Coffee (P950/300g). I took home the Lemongrass, one, preferring the smell and also because I was told it was easier to wash off than the Barako. Made with Lahori Salt, San Benito’s ANH Coconut Oil, grapeseed oil, lemongrass essential oil and vitamin E (plus other natural goodies such as beeswax and various fruit extracts) this polish smells amazing and the salt component is “coarse” enough so that you truly believe it’s removing so many impurities from your body, without scratching your skin. Since the polish is already so enriched with some of Mother Nature’s finest, it’s recommended that you do not use soap to wash off any excess oils. Application should be done on damp skin and in a circular motion, doing this once a week (perhaps twice if your skin is extremely dry) removes dead skin cells, improves circulation, purifies the skin and stimulates the lymph system. Focus on areas that are more prone to sweat, like the underarms, inner thighs, and don’t forget your heels, elbows and knees!

What happens though when you find yourself in a situation where it’s “too late to exfoliate”? Then a body cream with skin-enriching properties is definitely something you should have on-hand. I’ve found the Bare it All Cream of V&M Naturals (P285/100g or P695/ 300g) is a dream cream come true. With V&M Naturals’ now-famous emu oil ingredient as the main component, combined with shea butter, jojoba oil, mango butter, papain and peppermint extracts giving your skin a tingle when you rub it in. I’ve actually gotten so attached to this cream that I bring it with me sometimes for a massage. One masseuse even commented that dark patches on my body seemed to lighten up almost immediately. Other users have experienced a reduction of chicken skin, and like me, lightening of dark areas-not to mention immediate relief for very dry and calloused skin. On another personal note, I actually had a zit forming on my chin one night and due to laziness I actually rubbed a bit of this cream on the almost-zit. By the morning, it was gone. Since the texture of the cream is slightly heavy, it’s preferable to use at night or when you travel and aren’t sure what weather conditions are waiting for you when you land. Because of the peppermint component it can also ease tired feet and legs after a long day of walking around in killer heels.

Rescue and recover. V&M Naturals Bare it All Cream is an immediate skin saver

If you’re looking for something for everyday use then check out Biopha Organics’ Moisturizing Body Milk (P625/400ml). Made in France and certified organic by two international organic regulatory organizations (Ecocert and Cosmebio) this new player in the skin market is free from GMO’s, petrochemicals and chlorine derivatives, parabens as well as artificial scents and coloring. This lotion does contain organic aloe vera and organic argan oil, making it good for everyday skin hydration. Since it’s practically fragrance-free, it will not clash with your cologne or perfume and is safe for those with very sensitive skin. Coming in pump form, this is ideal if you’ve got to share your bathroom and don’t like the idea of someone double dipping their hands and fingers into any of your beauty finds.

Your body is your temple as the saying goes, so worship yours with products that contain ingredients that actually make it look and feel better the more you use them.

Botanical body. Biopha Organics Body Milk is eco-certified and great for everyday use.

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For more information on The Farm at San Benito’s products call 884-8074 or 0918-8848078 or visit For Venus and Mars Naturals call 966-3719 or 0917-8232724 or visit For Biopha Organics Products call 421-5745 or 0910-5576955 or 59. Or visit to order online.

Give your metabolism a leg up with living food

In Philippine Star Column on March 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm

It’s easy to eat. It’s even especially easier to eat food that tastes like heaven but gives your body hell in terms of digestion. Due to my work I often find myself eating out on a regular basis — too regular, in fact — and over the course of the last couple of months I have found myself to be borderline overweight, and lazy as heck. Finally getting up to exercise on a regular basis was excruciating, and the reflection that stared back at me from the floor-to-ceiling mirrors at classes I attended was rather disheartening. Still, I thought to myself, what’s life without good food? True, I will always enjoy eating out, eating with friends, and even eating alone, but balance is a being’s natural inclination; it was time for a food time out.

Potato Curry

To be honest, when I embarked on a four-day retreat to The Farm at San Benito, it had crossed my mind that my daily dishes were going to consist of vegan food that was predominantly raw. I had signed on for a much-needed yoga and meditation break and was only reminded a day before by a friend that the food was going to be very different from the rich indulgences I had peppered my Facebook wall with. There is one restaurant in The Farm called Alive! that champions food that is all homegrown, “live” (think loads of vegetables, fruits and nuts) and created onsite, so it’s as fresh as fresh can be.

During my stay there, I even attended an Alive! food preparation class, where the chef shared with us some recipes we could do at home (I’m no cook, but it was nice to have the recipes) in the event we wanted, let’s say, a healthier salad dressing or non-dairy cheese (yes, very possible with nuts, miso and sea salt). The menu had gotten a lot more extensive: one could choose from the à la carte portions (their pesto spaghetti is a winner) or their set menu, which changes on a daily basis, for lunch and dinner. You can choose a two, three, four or go all the way and get all five courses. Don’t scrimp on a healthy shake or smoothie while you’re at it. A caveat, though: you are definitely eating food that is extremely beneficial for you in all aspects, you are providing your body with much-needed enzymes and nutrients, but the dishes do contain calories — so don’t think a five-course meal is going to make you lose weight, but it certainly is nowhere near to the weight (and whatever else) you’re going to gain from a “finger lickin’ good” dish.

Vegetarian ArrozcaldoUnless specified, you will not eat anything that has been cooked over 40 degrees Celsius on the menu. Why? It is believed that uncooked food retains more of its nutritional properties, and is easier to digest, giving your metabolism a much-needed rest. You will not find piping hot soup but lower temperatures will be compensated by taste as spices and herbs give you a very flavorful broth (as I experienced with the very delicious hot and sour soup) and even the potato curry was spicy enough without burning your tongue. Your plate is filled with so many colors and so many textures that you forget it isn’t cooked and you do get full, especially if you indulge in a drink like The Real Teal, which is made out of acai berries and high in antioxidants.

If you decide to stay a night or more (highly recommended) breakfast is another delight. I enjoyed their homemade cereals so much — the crunch and the sweetness of the granola, for example, made me not want to add coconut milk as I did not wish to dilute the flavor. Fresh fruits are abundant at all times even in liquid form so you can sit and sip them to your heart’s content if you’re not hungry yet. In the event that you want your food more cooked, then the vegetarian arroz caldo is a must try; it is so tasty you will not look for the chicken bits at all, and the smell alone will make you feel like the dog in Pavlov’s experiment.

Homemade granola

So, what happens with all this (sometimes) raw food? Like I mentioned before, your metabolism takes a breather, as does your digestive system, so be ready for frequent trips to the toilet. Not to get into TMI mode, but your body needs to expel toxins so with this kind of diet that has so much fiber (optimal hydration is essential) you’re helping it out in a big way. In a nutshell, you’re getting the junk out of your trunk. A bonus? You will probably sleep like a baby, something that you may not have experienced since you were, in fact, a baby. Enjoy your trip to the raw side.

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For more information on The Farm at San Benito go to

Reposted from SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated April 01, 2011